Step 2 – Apply For College – Apply to Your Chosen Schools

Step 2 – Apply to Your Chosen Schools

Every college will have its own requirements and deadlines for admission, so look at the college’s admissions website or call the admissions office for the details.

The Basics

In almost all cases, colleges will require:

  • Completed application form
  • High school transcript or GED
  • ACT or SAT test scores
  • Immunization records
  • Non-refundable application fee (can sometimes be waived in cases of financial need)


Some colleges, or specific college programs, will require:

  • Essays – Proofread, proofread, proofread. Nothing says “I don’t really care” like grammar and spelling mistakes.
  • Interviews – If an interview is required, be ready to answer questions like “Tell me a little about yourself.” “Why do you want to attend our school?” “What do you plan to major in?” And let’s not forget the old favorite, “Where do you see yourself 20 years from now?”
  • Auditions & Portfolios – If you’re trying to get into a theater or music program, you might have to audition. Art programs may require a portfolio of work.
  • Lists of Activities – Some colleges, especially selective colleges, will want to know what extracurricular activities (sports, clubs, volunteerism, etc.) you’ve participated in. See the Extras section.
  • Letters of Recommendation – Some colleges, or specific college programs, will require letters of recommendation. It is really important to ask your teachers for these in advance. And make sure they are submitted ON TIME. You might have to give your teacher a friendly reminder.

Most colleges allow (or require) you to apply online or at least download the required forms. No typewriters or snail mail required.

Remember to visit the admissions page on the college’s website before you fill out the actual application to make sure you know the requirements and deadlines.

If you apply online, don’t mail a duplicate printed application, unless it is specifically requested. Duplicate forms are unnecessary, and they slow down the process.


Public Universities

Private Colleges

Community Colleges